looking back

Hey It's LAUNCH DAY

For me this is a Significant day - not an ordinary day in any sense of the word! I’ve shared some of this in my last blog post called Five Years Later . But it seems important to include some of it here again because it is such a key part of my journey. Heads up - this is a long one. But I am an author now.

It is the Last day of TRIBE FIVE (a conference for writers and creatives put on my Jeff Goins and his team). It is the last day of the last conference. He's up to something else- we just don't know what - yet.

 On the last day of the first conference, I heard Jeff say,

“You are a writer when you say you are a writer.”

So I said I was a writer.

Five Years Later - Almost to the Day!

For the past five years, one of those highlights in my life has been to connect with a group of creative, soul-searching writers and artists who gather in Franklin, Tennessee for the TRIBEWRITER Conference hosted by founder and creator of the Tribewriter community, Jeff Goins.

I value learning new skills by listening to those who have already done what I want to do as they share what has worked for them or tips of the trade. But more than that, I love having the opportunity to rub shoulders with the men and women who are using their voice, their stories, and their talents to make their difference. 

This is my 5th TRIBE Conference. It will also be the last TRIBE Conference that Jeff Goins will be hosting. I will have attended all of them.  Each year brought with it new challenges and insights both as a writer and as a person.

Each year there are those who say to me, “Don’t quit. Keep showing up.”

  But mostly they say “Own who you are and do it with all your heart.”

 The importance of this year’s TRIBE Conference in relation to my writing journey is significant. You will understand more at the end of this post.

My Gift to you, GHC world!

Eight years ago today… 
I posted my first blog introducing you to Green Hope Coaching with Kathy Burrus.  Officially GHC opened it's doors on 1/11/11.  But I didn't tell my virtual world until 1/22/11.  I like to celebrate this whole month the GHC anniversary- or a birthday- or whatever you call it when your business baby turns 8 years old.  

I'm celebrating by offering you a free gift to support you in the middle of this winter season. Sometimes the challenges we feel during the dark winter days can become pretty intense. While the journey through hard stuff can feel lonely- we don't have to be alone. Join me from the comfort of your own home,

Thursday, January 24th at 8:00pm
for a F.R.E.E. LIVE
WINTER WEBINAR.

Details in the video, or you can register here.
Save your spot- space is limited.

The WINTER WEBINAR is part of my GREEN HOPE GATHERING series that I plan to do each month of 2019 discussing various topics.  This month we will be talking about how to manage the dark, sometimes dreariness of winter that leaves us feeling more isolated and alone.  (Though as I am writing this, it is a beautifully crisp, sunny day after a big snow. The sunshine is good for the soul. ) 

But how do we handle the 'stuff' that we experience during this season when the days are beginning to get longer,  and the sun does shine, but not quite?  

Join me as we celebrate - and support one another during these winter months. Click here to find out more.

Bumbling Through the Challenge of Christmas

I’m normally a positive person- but my ‘positivity’ this past month has been pretty depressing. I was positively negative.

I didn’t feel good.

I didn’t feel like decorating my tree, even though it was already put up for me.

Our family chose not to exchange gifts this year- just to create less stress and financial strain, which was great- till it was sad.

Loved ones have been wrestling with serious health, relationship, financial issues…! I can do nothing to help, but I feel the concern deeply anyway.

I missed all but one of the Christmas music events I so enjoy during the Christmas season. The one I did participate in, I felt like I was only half present.

If it sounds like I am complaining —- I am! Or I have been —- alot! (poor Ren) I didn’t realize how much until I started feeling better, which wasn’t really until today- last day of the month, the year, and this depressing mood. My dear husband has been more than patient with my bungling the Christmas.

My friend Pat encouraged me to look at my year just to see the big picture of it. You know there has been a lot of HARD STUFF this year. There were some circumstances that felt intense such as my dad’s heart attack in February, and Ren’s dad going into hospice and passing in March. As I looked at the list of HARD STUFF, I saw that while they were full of emotions, they weren’t ‘bitter’- just hard.

I also noticed I was DOWN a lot (exhausted, fatigue, lack of brain power or emotional capacity). I did throw my back out last January- and dislocated my shoulder in March. But most of my DOWN was probably due more to my stress- or the way I handle the stress and emotions of life. I work hard to keep on top of things, but sometimes it is just too much. Since my adrenal glands don’t work, it doesn’t take much.

So how was your holiday season? If I am bringing yours down by all my complaining, I am sorry. If you connect with me because of the HARD STUFF in your own life, then I am also sorry. And yet, I am very aware that it is in all the STUFF that life is lived. In the tension of the happy and sad, the good and the bad - that is where we grieve and cry, celebrate and laugh, fear and take courage. There are moments when all seems well with the world, but they seem fleeting.

As I look ahead to the new year, there are many circumstances that I don’t see changing anytime soon. There are issues that may not be resolved, at least not the way I want them to be, as soon as I want them to be. Healing of my body or emotions may not look like I want it to look. Relationships may be messier than I hoped. The book will take longer to write than I planned.

But as I have pondered what I have been hearing from the Lord this season, it came back to a conversation I had with a client earlier in the month. She was really NOT wanting to go to the annual Christmas dinner with family because of a heated argument that had taken place the last time they were together. I chuckled because she offered to go ‘lick every spoon in the elementary school dining hall after the kids ate lunch’ so she could get whatever germs would make her sick enough not have to go.

But as we spoke she decided she would go for 3 reasons:

  1. Her young daughter wanted more than anything for the whole family to be together. She would go for the child.

  2. She would lean into love and choose to behave in a loving way toward family members in order to have an enjoyable time together.

  3. She would put herself in the shoes of the other family member, and seek to understand how they might be processing this situation.

The conversation has replayed in my mind over and over again this holiday. Isn’t that the whole jest of that first Christmas? It was a messy scene with smelly travelers, animals and shepherds instead of fragrant trees, and lights and beautifully wrapped packages. Mary wasn’t in the comfortable surroundings of her home, or with people she knew and trusted. She and Joseph had to both be really tired from traveling and dealing with the masses of people who had also come to Bethlehem for the census.

She probably didn’t feel great.

She didn’t have her own space.

She was surrounded by strangers at a most vulnerable time in her life.

She could have complained. But Luke 2 says “she pondered all these things in her heart.

The child

The love

The lives of the people who were sharing this moment with her.

That is Christmas!

The Child

leaned into love

and put himself in our shoes to bring us hope.

Hmmm? There were some times when I felt like I had “licked all the spoons” so I wouldn’t have to do something I didn’t want to do over the holiday. Fear of what could be, or sadness over what was got in my way several times this holiday.

But when I quit complaining and started pondering… I saw so many things differently. I don’t know what 2019 will hold, but I want to LIVE CHRISTMAS year round this year. In fact,it guess it is my resolution list this year.

Know the child- his birth, his death, his resurrection and the power that has in my life.

Lean into the love he came to share with you and me.

Put myself into the shoes of the people in my world and sharing this hope with them.

Ok! I may have bungled a lot this holiday, but the spirit of Christmas broke through to me again.

What are you pondering as you start the new year?

The Power of Your Tribe

Do you know that feeling of being surrounded by people who are amazing and feeling like just being in their presence makes you a better person?

I do!

I have chosen to connect myself with some amazing, super people, whether it is my network of professional women I belong to - or my church or small group. I am a better person just because these people are in my life.

One of those highlights in my life is to connect with a group of creative, soul-searching writers and artists who gather at the…

Will I ever be HER?

I find myself sitting in the chair in my front room pondering what I see in my future. I want so much to feel confident; healthy, productive, grateful and graceful, beautiful. Helpful. Peaceful, HOPE full.

I want to being a strong, confident woman. I see a woman who has poise and gentleness, yet is bold and persevering.

Yet this week as I've laid on the sofa a lot, I have felt none of those.  I have felt weak, tired, messy. I've wondered if I could ever be that other woman. I've had moments of doubt, confusion and discouragement; times when I only felt desperate. How can I ever be a strong, confident woman when I keep floundering in moments of discouragement and sadness?

 But today I am taking time to ponder what I've heard this week from just listening, from forcing myself not to let my thoughts take me to despair or to deciding to quit - again for the umpteenth time, to feel like I wasn't good enough.

 Here's what I heard. …

Revealing Remarkable Truth about Your Life

How often do you step back and ask yourself, "How am I doing at living the life I want to live?"

As I pondered my answer to this question this month, I thought about you.  While we can't plan some of these occasions, we can learn from moments like them in powerful ways.  This month I had some significant events that caused me to ponder my story.  

Want to learn something about yourself- something really remarkable?

1. Go to a …

Ten Days to 60!

60 used to be really old to me. 

When I was born,  my grand parents were in their 60's or very near there.  They seemed old.

Then I got near my 40's and my parents were entering their 60's. Somehow 60 didn't seem that old any more. Today I've been pondering the fact that in ten days I turn 60.  

Lessons of Remarkable Abundance from Time with My Dad

I've been pondering the irony  
of my study of remarkable life, 
Abundant life
Man fully alive 

As i feel that i am coming alive again
After walking through grief 

As i now walk with my parents  
Through struggle to live
after Dad's heart attack

And breathe 

And eat & drink  

And walk 

It's like being born again
In a new way
All over again 

Is this the end  

Or a beginning ...